Is there any single concept or idea behind the music of Anwyl - a purpose, an ideal that you have as musicians? What are you trying to accomplish through your music? Can you tell me what the word/name 'Anwyl' means, by the way?
We are not a band, we are terrorists. And music is our weapon. To corrupt souls, and to fistfuck the corpses of the nonbelievers . Anwyl is the Celtic world of the Dead.
Your music is often labeled as 'plague metal', either in the press that I have seen on you before, or by your own hands...can you explain exactly what you mean by this term? Are you just trying to differentiate yourselves with this from all of the other black/death metal bands in the underground, or do you feel like Anwyl really has a new sound that requires different phrases to try to capture its essence? Are there any other bands, in the history of black/death, that you think played in a similar style - bands that you consider to be strong influences? If so, what attracts you to their music?
We're sick fucks. Plague metal is a reference to the black death, and our musical style is the bastard spawn of black metal and death metal. Black/ death = plague metal. Influences? Morbid Angel, Slayer, Kreator, Sabbat, Angelcorpse, Krisiun, Dissection, Marduk, Darkthrone, Violence, Sodom, Autopsy, whatever rips why skull apart. I do think we are going about shit in a different way than most, and there are a lot of good extreme bands out now: Conqueror, Black Witchery, Lust, The Chasm, Hate Eternal, Exhumed, Impaled. I think people are fed up with the stupid ass lame gothic/romantic shit and are going back to the roots of metal, which is hatred and violence. Let's see how far we can push the envelope. We'll just get faster, sicker and more brutal. And leave blood, piss, and vomit in our wake.
Anwyl are not exactly a high profile band...and it took a little bit of searching for me to find out about you. Is this by choice? Does Anwyl deliberately hide in the shadows, or has it been difficult for you to gain coverage in magazines - for whatever reason? It also seems to me that you have attracted a greater amount of attention in countries other than your own, and that while you are seemingly far underground in the states, you have a sound that is very attractive to foreign audiences. Can you explain this? Is this the fault of the US underground - something the scene here lacks?
It has been a battle to get recognition, but I think that it's good you pay your dues...that way people see that you're not fucking around and that your going to be sticking around, then they tend to give you more respect. Yes we do tend to promote our shit more towards foreign audiences, that's due mainly to our website. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that people get a hold of us. It is damn cool to know that people on the other side of the world dig your music. I think that american bands are real territorial, around here anyway. It's like they think that you might 'steal their thunder' or some bullshit. There are some damn cool people that have helped us out. I guess that's just life though. A supreme evil hail goes out to the Infested road crew for all the blood, beer, brawls and puking.
Tell us a little bit about what it's like being in such an extreme band in Kansas. I would expect that the native audiences are not exactly 'open' to the sound you offer, and that they need a little bit of coaxing to understand what you are doing with your music. Do you have problems finding places to play live? Have you ever thought of moving from your native state, or are there strong reasons for you staying? Do you think it really matters where a band is located - that a location can be inspiring, for example, for certain types or modes of music?
Kansas sucks there is only one other band in the entire state worth a fuck and that's Origin. There is no scene. Yeah I want to get the fuck out of here, fuck it we just want to tour. Stay gone for a month or two, then we'll see about moving. It is desolate out here though - I like being able to drive five minutes in any direction and be out in the middle of nowhere. I don't want to give that up, I just wish we had some mountains or hills or fucking something out here to look at besides cowshit and tumbleweeds though. I guess it keeps me pissed off which is good for inspiration.
Can you tell me how the local reaction has been to your band so far? Have you ever had problems with the police or religious 'authorities' at live shows or in the distribution of your material? Is Anwyl's music available in stores where you live? Are the people around you - those who are close to you - supportive of your music?
People love us or run from us. It has gotten violent at a few shows and people got hurt but that's metal, deal with it pussies. As far as protests go we have been investigated by the FBI, but that's really our biggest claim to fame so far. The feds were no big deal though, fuck them pigs and make them squeal.
How long has your CD 'Bloody Mary' been out now? What has the reaction to it been like? Are you still proud of it - does it still reflect your band?
Mary's been out about a year now the reaction has just now started to really pick up which is cool because we got some new stuff that's coming out real soon so people should be eager to hear it. Well let the new shit speak for itself.
Describe for us what seeing Anwyl in a live setting is like...does playing live add anything to your music, is it especially attractive to you? What does it offer you - emotionally, spiritually - that nothing else can? Do you believe that all bands - especially black or death metal bands - should play live, as a means of 'proving' themselves? Is there a place for studio bands?
Playing shows is what we're all about. Fuck bands that don't play live. COWARDS!!! This is WAR get out and fight for your beliefs! We go out there wherever we can and destroy any stage we get on. There is nothing else I'd rather do.
Reading through your lyrics, it is not difficult to discern that Anwyl has a rigidly anti-Christian message, and that you have a hatred for religious dogma and/or the 'authority' of the Church - where exactly does this come from? Were any of you raised in Christian or Catholic households - i.e., was Christianity forced upon you? Is your music a reaction against that, or does it stem from some other source? The sheer chaos of your music - in songs such as 'Bloody Mary', for example, also speaks of a hatred against the oppression of Order, the authority of any artifical order at all...what kind of world do you envision as the ideal for yourselves? Is Anwyl a strike for freedom against all the arbitrary 'orders' that suppress creativity?
I have two Uncles that are pastors so go figure. I hate the idea of god, that we are all slaves for someone else's amusement. That love is the great equalizer, why should I love that which would control and enslave me? Religion is a soul murdering not liberating organism, and it shall be exterminated . Bloody Mary is a satire on the immaculate conception (perversion). So god's a pedophile and a rapist? No wonder he wants you on your knees to pray. The world I want is one where stupidity is punishable by death. Anwyl is the embodiment of all our hatred towards life, religion and mankind.
As an aside, tell me what you think of the concept, action, and function of suicide...is it something that needs to be legitimized? Can it have political meaning in that it strikes back against the oppression of the world? Or is it - as I believe - something that we call carry within us, as a personal obsession, as a question that every single one of us needs to answer at some point? If you don't mind, detail for us the concepts behind your song 'Seasons of Suicide' - tell us what this exactly refers to...especially the lines which say, in the lyrics, 'ponderance of the death of self, life shall be no more, immolate, forsake me, this mortal coil, that I may grow cold.' Is the narrator here detailing the motives behind his suicide - because life has already been extinguished within him, his spirit has died, and reacts in hatred against the world - or is just the straight story of the effects his suicide will have upon his spirit? Also interesting are the lines 'the season of suicide has come at last, I am the leader to the threshold' - what does this really refer to?
Who else is worthy to take your life but yourself? Death is the great reward, finality of being. Best it be by your choosing and your hands. Would you rather have time play it's dice game and die hacking up your lungs laying in your own shit? You only die once, enjoy it. Seasons is a very personal song for the band. It was written in the memory of Greg Stephenson and Mike King, two warriors who took their own lives. When Greg died it was the birth of Anwyl: Krom, Mikai and I made a pact that his spirit would never die by living on in the legacy of our music. Anwyl became our reason to keep living to keep fighting. Everything we do is for the band . Well a year later almost to the day of Greg's death, Mike concluded it was his time and dealt another heavy loss to our army. And in all that emotion, that raw anger and sorrow came out in those lyrics - that is their hymn. The journey to the realms beyond the flesh and the final fuck off to the world! Anwyl is the celtic land of the dead...the threshold that I refer to is life and upon it sacrifice the life of the flesh for the birth of an unknowable existence. The winds of Anwyl call us all.
I read that you recently signed with Drakkar Productions of France - an excellent label for any black metal band - and that you are going to be releasing a 7" record as well in the near future. Was this a conscious choice, to sign with a label that is not in the States - or did they just offer the best deal? Did Anwyl recieve significant offers from any other labels? Also, tell me: why do you think so many black metal bands are once again putting out 7" records? Is this a 'return' to the spirit of the past, when so many great bands released vinyl in extremely limited quantities, as a way of restricting their audience to the 'true' underground?
Yes signing with Drakkar was intentional. Sir Noctu has supported us since our first demo and Drakkar is a legion of terrorists and assassins, not a record company...that I really like. Yes, limited numbers for the true fans on the new 7" 'Totalitarian Perversity' (End All Life Productions). I think that is a good idea. I don't think we are music for mass appeal.
Can you tell us of your plans for your next release - a full-length I am hoping - and what direction Anwyl will be heading in? Will there be any changes in your sound - has your band evolved in any certain way since 'Bloody Mary'? Are there any personal goals which you wish to demolish with your future recordings?
The new album (yes a full length) will be called 'Pestis Noir' and should be out by summer at the latest. It will burn the false metallers to dust! We are a better, more honed killing machine now and the new album will prove it. We will continue to get more and more extreme with each release until the day I take an assault rifle on stage and go out in style.
I want to thank you for doing this interview for us, please add anything else here you want our readers to see...
Thanks for the best interview I've ever done. The support is killer. To the readers: come see our shows & see our website at http://go.to/Anwyl and vomit blood till you die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!